Participants gathered in front of the Smith Sherlock Store in Historic South Pass City early this morning for the start of the Cowboy Tough Adventure Race. (Photo by Joe Ellis)

(Fremont County, Wyo.) – Not that many endurance races begin with a shot of whiskey and panning for gold, but that’s exactly what happened this morning in South Pass City in the first day of a three day series of challenges.

The Cameco Cowboy Tough Expedition Adventure Race adventure race began this morning in South Pass City. Before it ends, participants will have covered over 300 miles. At the start this mornings, teams had to find a gold nugget and take a shot of Wyoming Whiskey at the saloon. (The serious racers will have an iced tea option).

From South Pass City the teams make their way to Sinks Canyon State Park where on day two, Friday, they’ll mountain bike and complete a rappel before riding to the 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous site in Riverton. There mountain men will greet them on Saturday and help them complete a tomahawk throwing challenge, before competitors bike to Boysen Reservoir where 18 miles of paddling awaits them- likely in the famous Wyoming wind. On Sunday they’ll whitewater raft through Wind River Canyon, a Wyoming Scenic Byway, and bike 80 miles on back roads to Hell’s Half Acre, completing checkpoints along the way before finishing in Casper.

Best places and times to see the Cowboy Tough adventure racers while in Fremont County for the rest of this week:

Thursday 8:00 p.m. through midnight: Sinks Canyon State Park   Activities: Trekking and biking

July 18  Friday, 6:00 a.m. through 9 a.m. Sinks Canyon State Park  Activities: Rapelling, caving and biking

Friday Noon through 4 p.m. Riverton’s 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous Site  Activities: Biking and tomahawk throwing

Friday, 4:00 pm through midnight: South end of Boysen Reservoir, and Boysen State Park. Activities: Paddling

July 19 Saturday, 6:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Boysen State Park and Wind River Canyon  Activities: Whitewater rafting and biking

Bellied up to the bar. Adventure racers began their day with a shot of Wyoming Whiskey (or ice tea). (Photo by Joe Ellis)

Bellied up to the bar. Adventure racers began their day with a shot of Wyoming Whiskey (or ice tea). (Photo by Joe Ellis)

Runners cross the bridge over Willow Creek in South Pass City at the start of today's 3.5 day race. (Photo by Joe Ellis)

Runners cross the bridge over Willow Creek in South Pass City at the start of today’s 3.5 day race. (Photo by Joe Ellis)